Case: – Moturu Nalini Kanth v/s Gainedi Kaliprasad; CIVIL APPEAL No. 2435 OF 2010
The case involved a dispute over the properties of a deceased woman who had allegedly adopted the appellant, Nalini Kanth, through a registered will.
The Hon’ble Court highlighted the significance of Section 69 of the Evidence Act, which deals with proving the authenticity of a document when attesting witnesses are unavailable. The Court stated that merely relying on a random witness claiming to have seen the attesting witness sign the will is insufficient. The court underscored that Section 69 requires concrete evidence, such as the handwriting of one attesting witness and the signature of the person executing the document.
In this case, neither of the attesting witnesses was produced in court as one had passed away, and the other was untraceable. Consequently, Section 69 was invoked to establish the handwriting of one attesting witness and the signature of the person executing the will. However, the court found the evidence provided by the Sub-Registrar under Section 69 to be unconvincing.
The Hon’ble Court also rejected the argument that Section 69 does not require actual proof of the handwriting of attesting witnesses and the signature of the executant. It referred to the decision in Ashutosh Samanta v/s Ranjan Bala Dasi & Ors 2023 to support its stance.
Furthermore, the Court also highlighted that the mere registration of a will does not validate its content. It emphasized that compliance with Section 68 of the Evidence Act, which requires the examination of attesting witnesses, is crucial in proving the validity of a will.
Thus, the Hon’ble court ultimately concluded that the appellant failed to prove the adoption and the will in accordance with the law. The court deemed the circumstances surrounding the will as suspicious and unrealistic, ultimately dismissing the appeal.
Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate
Connect with Mr. Bhatt on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adit-ravishbhatt/
- Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader or user should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information written above without first seeking legal advice from qualified law practitioner.